Minister allegedly shields Acsa CEO from suspension | Fin24
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Minister allegedly shields Acsa CEO from suspension

Feb 13 2017 18:10

Cape Town - Four board members of the Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa) could face the axe after Transport Minister Dipuo Peters allegedly issued notices of intent to dismiss them. 

According to a report in BusinessLive on Monday, the move could be seen as an attempt to shield Acsa CEO Bongani Maseko from being disciplined for contravening the state-owned entity’s supply chain regulations. 

The notices were allegedly issued late on Friday with a shareholder meeting scheduled to take place on Monday February 20.

According to the report, the Acsa board was supposed to meet with Peters to discuss a resolution to suspend Maseko with immediate effect and start a disciplinary process against him. 

The supply chain management irregularities were fingered in an audit report and pertains to among other things the awarding in 2008 of a hotel management contract to City Lodge and the decision in 2014 to award a retail contract at OR Tambo International Airport to Amger Retailing instead of Exclusive Books. 

The forensic report was conducted by Dr VS Mncube Consulting on behalf of the Acsa board, and presented to the board in August last year.

In November, the Acsa board suspended procurement manager Percy Sithole, general manager for regional airports Jabulani Khambule and legal counsel Bongani Machobane amid the allegations in the report. 

Maseko, however, was not suspended, as the investigation was still ongoing. 

In a follow-up report published late on Monday, BusinessLive cited a legal opinion that Acsa obtained from law firm Norton Rose Fulbright in which “damning allegations” against Maseko are spelt out. 

The law firm recommended that Maseko be suspended, as his presence at Acsa could deter witnesses from speaking out. 

In the legal opinion Norton Rose Fulbright further recommended that pre-suspension scripts be prepared for Maseko and three additional officials allegedly involved in the irregular supply chain management procedures. 

In addition, the law firm formulated the nature of the charges that should be brought against Maseko, Sithole, Khambule and Machobane.

It also recommended that the suspensions of Sithole, Khambule and Machobane be extended as failure to do so would entitle them to go back to work. Their suspensions were were effective from November 7 2016 to February 3 2017.

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